Niantic Merges Basketball & The Metaverse In NBA All-World

Niantic Labs, the mobile game company behind Pokémon GO and Pikmin Bloom, has announced a new partnership with the NBA. This partnership will see Niantic develop a new augmented reality game that merges basketball gameplay with the metaverse. Let's get into the details of NBA All-World.

NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs

NBA All-World was revealed in a press conference with figures from Niantic and NBA. Much of the information came from Marcus Matthews, the Senior Producer of NBA All-World who worked as a producer on the original 2K. Matthews spoke about using the game to envelop the real world around players in a basketball universe, blurring real-world activity with virtual sports. Echoing the motivation to get players outside that we have seen Niantic representatives talk about with Pokémon GO, Matthews hopes to turn the real world into a "basketball theme park" by having points of interest where players can get Stamina for their characters or get authentic shoes at other locations.

NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs

Glenn Chin, Head of Global Marketing for NBA: All World, echoed much of Matthews' sentiments. He spoke about the game becoming a "genre-defying hoop experience" and says that the game is geared toward ease of play. He sees it as an on-ramp "into this great sport that we love." While the game is intended for casual fans to enjoy, he assures "NBA super fans" that they can go in and have an incredible experience with the gameplay, authentic music, and authentic footwear.

 

NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs

NBA Vice President of Global Partnerships and Media Adrienne O'Keeffe said that the game is an exciting new addition to the NBA's portfolio that adds a new experience with metaverse gameplay. Marcus Matthews expounded on that, commenting that All-World debuts a new way to engage in sports gaming. He and Niantic believe in the future of AR and its place in the world and as such, they approach this new game with that metaverse future in mind.

NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs
NBA All-World press conference screengrab. Credit: Niantic Labs

Feature elements discussed include:

  • Map-based gameplay
  • Boosts that temporarily heighten a player's stats
  • A traditional system of levels
  • Courts and drop zones
  • Customizable players
  • Mini-drills
  • One-on-one basketball games as the core experience

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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